Mikhail Gurevich (aircraft designer)

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Mikhail Iosifovich Gurevich
Born 12 January [O.S. 31 December 1892] 1893
Rubanshchina, Sudzha Uyezd of Kursk Governorate, Russian Empire
Died November 12, 1976(1976-11-12) (aged 83)
Leningrad, Soviet Union
Nationality Soviet Union
Engineering career
Engineering discipline Aeronautical Engineering
Employer(s) Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau
Significant design MiG-1
Significant awards Hero of Socialist Labor (1957)
Order of Lenin (1962)
State Stalin Prize (1941, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1953)

Mikhail Iosifovich Gurevich (Russian: Михаи́л Ио́сифович Гуре́вич) (12 January 1893 [O.S. 31 December 1892] – November 12, 1976) was a Soviet aircraft designer, a partner (with Artem Mikoyan) of the famous MiG military aviation bureau. MiG is an abbreviation of their surnames.

Life and career

Born to a Jewish family as the son of a winery mechanic in the small township of Rubanshchina (Kursk region in Ukraine), in 1910 he graduated from gymnasium in Okhtyrka (Kharkov region) with the silver medal and entered the Mathematics department at Kharkov University.[1] After a year, for participation in revolutionary activities, he was expelled from the university and from the region and continued his education in Montpellier University.

In the summer 1914 Gurevich was visiting his home when World War I broke out. This and later the Russian Civil War interrupted his education. In 1925 he graduated from the Aviation faculty of Kharkov Technological Institute and worked as an engineer of the state company "Heat and Power".

In 1929 Gurevich moved to Moscow to pursue the career of aviation designer. Soviet design was a state-run affair, organised in so-called OKBs or design bureaus. In 1937 Gurevich headed a designer team in the Polikarpov Design Bureau, where he met his future team partner, Artem Mikoyan. In late 1939 they created the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau, with Gurevich in the position of Vice Chief Designer, and after 1957 as its Chief Designer, a post he kept until his retirement in 1964. This is quite remarkable, considering that he never joined the Communist Party.[2]

In 1940 Mikoyan and Gurevich designed and built the high-altitude MiG-1 fighter plane, starting from a project partially developed by Polikarpov's team. The improved MiG-3 fighter aircraft was widely used during World War II. In the years after the war, the two designed the first Soviet jet fighters, including the first supersonic models.[1] The last model Gurevich worked on was the MiG-25 interceptor, which is among the fastest military aircraft ever to enter service.[2]

Gurewich provided the mathematical basis for the successful work of the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau. Their main focus was on high speed, fast ascent, and high flight altitude.[2]

Honours and awards

For his winning designs, Mikhail Gurevich won several major Soviet awards.[1]

See also

  • Artem Mikoyan for a much more elaborate article about their common work at the MiG design bureau.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fred Skolnik, Michael Berenbaum, ed. (2006). Encyclopaedia Judaica, Volume 8: GOS - HEP (2nd ed.). Thomson. p. 140. ISBN 978-0028659367. Retrieved 12 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 L. Egenburg, A. Saweljew (1993). "Das G im Wörtchen "MiG": Michail Josifowitsch Gurjewitsch". Fliegerrevue. 5. ISSN 0941-889X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>